Delta COVID Variant Now In Chicago

CBS 2's Jim Williams reports it may be more lethal for those who are not vaccinated.

Video Transcript

- New at 5:00. For the first time, we're learning there are cases of the covid-19 variant called Delta in Chicago. The fast spreading variant devastated India is now the dominant strain in the UK. CBS 2's Jim Williams live with what we know about Delta and how well the vaccines work against it, Jim.

- Brad, the Delta variant is more contagious and more lethal doctors say, but they add that the vaccine provides a lot of protection.

First detected in India and spreading rapidly there, the Delta variant is now the dominant strain of the coronavirus in the United Kingdom. An estimated 60% of new cases in the UK. University of Chicago Infectious Disease Dr. Anu Hazra says there's good reason to be concerned.

- The variant specifically, I think has been shown to be more contagious and more lethal. Both in South Asia as well as now in the UK.

- That is more contagious and more lethal among those who have not been vaccinated. Those who have had the shots are largely protected against the Delta variant doctor Hazra says.

- In the UK, we have a good amount of evidence to show that while there may be vaccinated people who become infected with the Delta variant, their hospitalizations and deaths remain low to nothing in those folks.

- All three of our existing authorized COVID vaccines in the US continue to be broadly protective against all of the known variants.

- Chicago Public health commissioner Dr. Alison Arwady says 12 cases of the Delta variant have turned up in the city.

- The good news is at this point we've not seen concerns with variants making people significantly sicker here, or the Delta 1 being very widespread.

- But with so many Americans still unvaccinated and communities opening up this summer, millions could be vulnerable to the Delta variant.

- It's still important to note that 50% of the United States is still unvaccinated, and so those folks are still at risk and particularly at risk of this more contagious variant. Particularly as we begin to open up and start to re socialize at some.

- The World Health Organization says the variant has spread to 62 countries. It is hitting young people, those 12 to 20 particularly hard. We're live, Jim Williams, CBS 2 News.